A micro-Raman spectroscopic study has been performed on the painted external lime plaster surfaces of historic buildings in Parma (Italy), and its surroundings. The buildings are characterized by a typical yellow coloration, called 'giallo Parma' (Parma yellow), which was used frequently from the eighteenth century. The analysis allowed the yellow and red pigments in the paint film to be identified as different iron oxides and hydroxides, and the detection of chemical transformations of the calcium carbonate binding medium. When titanium dioxide is present in the paint layer, the external plaster can be dated to the twentieth century.
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